So finally got the new hammers back and in, as well as flipping all the rest of them to a new edge. I have assembled the unit as far as I am going to for now.
I am changing direction and will be building a pellet mill. As I read more about gasification (and my recently arrived book: HWWT ) I see the importance of the charcoal bed, and don't want to possibly waste time with loose straw. Maybe somewhere down the road when I feel like experimenting I'll look at it again.
The pellet mill will allow me to still utilize the cheap highly available straw for fuel, but also allow me to utilize any free scrap wood that becomes available. It leaves the door open for charcoal fuel as well should I want to gasify my tractor and dozer. Another bonus is I have heated with pellets for over a decade, and making my own pellets would make the switch over to a low cost fuel as simple as dumping straw pellets into the hopper.
Home made pellets seem to leave every door open. They have been successfully gasified many times, they will fuel my existing heating units, they would be great as motor fuel, and can be torrified or carbonized. One of the best things in my mind is producing a densified, uniform fuel that can use a variety of feed stocks (ie what ever comes up free for the taking).
There are a few drawbacks, but it seems worth the trouble to figure them out. The Mill will be a flat die type, and I hope to build a very good quality unit - I work at a fab/machine shop and have the tools and skills for the most part.
So I'll post a new thread when I get into it. I know it's not a gasifier, but I'm betting many here would like to see a DIY pellet mill that works with all the specs and method of construction. Consider it a different kind of wood chunker!